Willmar (11-1) vs. SMB Wolfpack (12-0), 4 p.m.
The semifinals were the perfect stage for Willmar, which got accustomed to expansive U.S. Bank Stadium while defeating overmatched St. Paul Johnson 62-20. QB Drey Dirksen showed off his versatility and quick feet, rushing for three touchdowns and passing for four more. But Dirksen isn’t a one-man show. He’s got plenty of weapons as his disposal, with RBs Alex Wickliff and Ethan Roux and WR Jake Evans. The Cardinals offense will face a much tougher test in the defense of SMB, which has used the postseason to showcase its ability to shut down opposing offenses. The Wolfpack might have high-end talent in QB/DB Jalen Suggs and WR/DB Craig McDonald, but it’s been the stinginess of players such as LB Bennett Theisen and DL Andrew Mollison that have driven their run to the championship game. Don’t overlook the contributions of RB Siegel Howard, who is at his hard-charging best in the fourth quarter.
• Jim says: SMB 27, Willmar 20
• David says: Willmar 31, SMB 24